In detail

Deficiency symptoms in cats: do they get enough vitamins?

If the diet does not meet the physical needs, then deficiency symptoms can occur in cats. We'll tell you what consequences this can have for the animals here. What are the symptoms of deficiency in cats? - Image: Shutterstock / Evgeny Savchenko

In order for a cat to have a long and above all healthy life, nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and trace elements are essential. The animal depends on its owner - after all, it eats what its owner or mistress puts in front of it. An unbalanced diet can cause deficiency symptoms in cats. In order to meet your nutritional requirements, there are a few things to consider.

• Vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus

Young animals especially need vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus for bone formation. Otherwise, a deficiency of these nutrients can lead to skeletal damage or even severe deformations such as rickets or soft bones.

Vitamin D is also important for healthy teeth. It can be eaten well through food. Foods such as liver, cod liver oil or fish are rich in vitamin D.

However, not only a deficiency in the vitamin can be dangerous, but also an overdose. It can lead to calcification in the kidneys and vessel walls.

• Vitamin A

Cats need vitamin A for good eyes and healthy skin. A deficiency is rare. However, if this happens, it can mean lameness, spinal damage, inflamed eyes, shaggy fur or an increased susceptibility to infection for the animal. Vitamin A is largely contained in raw liver, fish oils or fresh egg yolk.

Similar to vitamin D, overdosing on vitamin A can have health consequences for cats. Too much of the fat-soluble vitamin is not excreted, but stored in the body. The result can be liver damage.

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• Vitamin B1

Cats need vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, for their nerve cells, normal heart function and gastrointestinal tract. In this regard, deficiency symptoms in cats cause loss of appetite with weight loss, nerve inflammation, dizziness and cardiac arrhythmia.

Cats that receive mostly fish are particularly affected by a lack of vitamin B1. The enzymes it contains can destroy thiamine.

• Essential fatty acids

One of the most common deficiency symptoms in cats is that of essential fatty acids such as linoleic acid. It is important for energy production, muscle activity, the heart, the skin but also the fur.

If there is a deficiency, this can mean, among other things, shaggy fur, increased hair or even hair loss for the cat. Tip: A lack of essential fatty acids can be counteracted by simply enriching the cat food with a little safflower or sunflower oil.

Are additional preparations actually necessary?

The feed industry is well prepared for deficiency symptoms in cats. There are a variety of supplements in the form of pills, pastes and drops. However, you should only give your animal what it really needs. To be on the safe side, it is best to consult a veterinarian.